Cafe 209

Review by: Michael Stern

I had driven past Cafe 209 many times and never even noticed its existence on Broad Street in an old brick building with only a small sign hung out front. But when infallible tipster Keith McLendon (“Chickenplucker”) suggested we meet here for lunch (the only meal served), I was on my way. Keith said he had previously enjoyed pork chops and his wife very much liked the beef liver (I agree: the liver, smothered with onions and gravy, is short-order heaven).

Fried chicken is the main attraction. I can’t believe how extraordinarily juicy the dark-meat thigh is; and its crisp, well-seasoned veil of crust quite literally melts in the mouth. In a region where good fried chicken is no surprise, Cafe 209’s is surprisingly good.

One can order this chicken by the piece, so it is possible to have just a piece or two along with a whole lot of 209’s excellent side dishes. The list of nearly two dozen includes Thursday-only broccoli casserole and cornbread dressing, pungent turnip greens, supersweet fried corn, piquant rutabagas, and Friday-only cole slaw and potato salad (to accompany catfish or flounder). Broccoli casserole is luxury incarnate — really more a cheese and rice casserole with just enough broccoli mixed in for it to qualify as a vegetable. Cornbread dressing, smothered with gravy and accompanied by cranberry sauce, could almost be a meal unto itself … although I can’t imagine a better companion for pork chops or Wednesday-only meat loaf.

It’s all good, the chicken even better than that; however dessert is a let-down: gummy peach cobbler, banana pudding with synthetic flavor.

What To Eat

Fried Chicken

DISH
Rutabagas

DISH
Broccoli Casserole

DISH
Cornbread Dressing

DISH
Banana Pudding

DISH
Peach Cobbler

DISH
Fried Corn

DISH
Beef Liver

DISH
Okra & Tomatoes

DISH
Lemonade

DISH

Cafe 209 Recipes

Discuss

What do you think of Cafe 209?

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